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Essays in Decisions, Institutions, and the Environment


The successful implementation of environmental policies is directly related to the functioning of government institutions. As such, the study of how these institutions -- and the policymakers that serve them -- make decisions is an important area of research. This dissertation makes two contributions in this area; the first and second chapters provide an empirical assessment of environmental voting in the U.S. Congress while the third chapter considers some theoretical aspects of international environmental agreements. In particular, chapter one explores how the environmental preferences legislators can be estimated from voting behavior and to what degree these estimates can inform policy questions. Chapter two targets the question how does the accounting of carbon emissions influence individual voting behavior on climate change legislation. Chapter three applies a new equilibrium concept -- one that includes a formal model of negotiation -- to a standard pollution abatement game.

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